Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food. This includes biological, chemical or physical hazards.
HACCP Certification: Defining Standards to ensure safety in production of Food Products
What is HACCP Certification?
We have several organizations that set up standards for finished goods and services to be implemented globally or locally. These standards are checked and verified by third-party organizations that issue certifications. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) also defines standards for regulating the quality of food products. However, it works differently as compared to most other organizations as it set up standards for the various stages of production.
Requirement of HACCP?
HACCP defines safety standards for chemical, biological as well as physical hazards that contribute to the quality and safety of the finished food product. The main purpose of setting these standards during the production is to avoid hazards rather than allowing these hazards to result in the degradation of food. HACCP certification applies to not only to the processes involved in food production but also in preparation, distribution and packaging of food. It is a widely accepted standard for food products around the world. In the United States, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made it compulsory for juice and meat products to comply with HACCP standards to ensure the safety of food products. The new act, Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act passed in 2002 makes it mandatory for firms in the US and outside the US that supply food to the US follow hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls (HARPC) plans.
Seven HACCP Principles
HACCP certification is an internationally accepted standard ensuring the safety of food products.
HACCP standards revolve around seven basic principles that lay the foundation. They are as follows:
- Conduct a hazard analysis:- It involves determining the hazards related to any of the chemical, biological or physical process involved in the production of food. Any process or practice that can make the food unsafe is considered as a hazard.
- Identify critical control points:- HACCP has identified certain key steps of procedures involved in the production that can be controlled to ensure that the quality of the food remains above the required safety level.
- Establish critical limits for each critical control point:– Once the critical points have been identified, it is important to define the control measures. This stage determines that optimum values (maximum or minimum) of the control points that will eliminate or at least keep the hazards below acceptable levels
- Establish critical control point monitoring requirements:- Production is a continuous process and thus it is necessary to monitor that the defined standards are met on a regular basis. HACCP clearly specifies the monitoring process and its frequency.
- Establish corrective actions:- An authority that issues HACCP certification sends a team of experts for audit. During the analysis or inspection of the processes, the team may find that values deviate from the defined critical limits. For such circumstances, it has defined proper corrective actions that need to be applied by the company to ensure that food products are free from adulteration.
- Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working properly:- This step involves validation and verification of the plants in view of the standards defined HACCP. The firm needs to submit a self-analysis report to demonstrate that it is following the standards required for safety. During verification, HACCP carries out testing at its levels to analysis the different processes involved in the production of the food.
- Establish record keeping procedures:- Record keeping is an important element of HACCP certification. The plant or the firm is required to main a complete record of the reports and findings during every hazard analysis.
Benefits of HACCP Certificate
HACCP helps your business to grow. It gives people a strong reason to trust your products. Also, you hold an extra edge when it comes to legal terms and conditions. Thus, HACCP certification is a practical requirement for ensuring the safety of food products. It also improves the overall process of production by helping you identify hazards.